Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Local Products and Cool Gear Showcased at the Music City Food + Wine Festival

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Among all the small plates and big drinks served at last weekend’s Music City Food + Wine Festival, some cool products and gear were highlighted, many of which are produced right here in Nashville or have a local connection.

Goo Goo Cluster was a major sponsor of the festival, handing out treats and bags as festival-goers entered the Grand Taste and inside, there was Olive and Sinclair chocolate, Switters Iced Coffee (a crowd favorite, particularly Sunday morning) with Roast, Inc., Walker Feed Company and Eli Mason (if you don't know the latter two, they both make outstanding cocktail or mocktail mixers), along with Nashville Jam Company.

There was also a table set up for Trampetti Olive Oil from Italy, which has an interesting local connection. Nashville residents Julie and Chris Caputo bought into the hundred-year-old olive farm and bottling operation a few years ago after becoming friends with the operators, one of whom is a descendant of Eugenio Trampetti, who founded the company in the “gold coast” of Italy’s Umbrian region.

The olive oil they produce is a 100% organic “mono-varietal” (using just one olive, the Moraiolo olive) that is processed the same day it's harvested. The result is a pristine green extra-virgin olive oil that is smooth and grassy with a nice peppery finish.

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Nashville is All Over the Cooking Channel in the Next Couple Months

Posted By on Tue, Sep 30, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Y'all certainly are a telegenic bunch of food professionals, because Nashvillians star in a host of upcoming shows on the Cooking Channel over the next two months. It's time to set your DVR to record, because I'll bet you recognize at least a few folks on these episodes.

First off, I didn't even know there was a whole shows about doughnuts, but sure enough, Donut Showdown is on the fall schedule. Premiering this Thursday, Oct. 2, at 8 p.m. CDT is an episode of the show titled "Jungle." Here's the synopsis:

An ex-lawyer running the family donut business from Nashville, Tennessee, a hipster from Decatur, Georgia, and the "pop" in a "mom and pop" shop from Redding, California, compete in a speedy elimination round with fried chicken as the mystery ingredient. Under the watchful eye of host Daryn Jones, the last two standing compete for $10,000 in a jungle-themed Donut Showdown. Judges: Elizabeth Falkner, Duff Goldman, David Rocco

Fried chicken and doughnuts? Count me in. Anybody have a guess as to who the ex-lawyer is? I told you about my experience filming with Cooking Channel's Best in Chow a few months back, and it looks like they've finished editing out my mug to compile two complete episodes about our fair city.

The Music City first episode focuses on hot dogs and stars Friend of Bites Vivek Surti as the local expert. It will air for the first time at 9 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 15. The second Nashville show was all about barbecue, so they asked my opinions about where they should visit. (Of course, they had already been to the spots during their scouting visits.) Sometimes, these shows are about which business is willing to shut down for half a day of filming rather than who necessarily makes the best food, but I will say that we ate some pretty darned good barbecue at all three spots that day. Here's the skinny on the fat:

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Barista Parlor Golden Sound Opens in the Gulch

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 1:50 PM

  • @dkfranklin
After a couple of weeks of soft-opening sessions, Barista Parlor Golden Sound has opened in the Gulch. The artisan coffeehouse, a sister to Barista Parlor in East Nashville, is currently operating from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Starting this Friday, it will extend hours to 8 p.m. daily (opening at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays).

The new cafe is at 610 Magazine St., just off Division, in an old brick building whose former identities include the Golden Sound of Nashville car stereo shop. Owner Andy Mumma has added a new feature at the Barista Parlor Golden Sound location: a coffee roasting area, which can be seen behind a frosted-glass wall.

In addition to its high-end coffee and espresso, BPGS serves a limited menu of sweets and biscuit sandwiches, which can be ordered with egg and cheese or with a meaty addition of sausage or bacon. A larger food menu will eventually be added.

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Reverend Mudbone and Mill Creek: More New Brewery News

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 8:24 AM

  • RevMudbone.com
Well, that didn't take long.

The seven-barrel brewhouse system from the recently and suddenly shuttered Boscos location in Hillsboro Village has been purchased by Fresh Hospitality for use in their new brewpub concept, Jim Myers at The Tennessean reports. The new pub, we're told, will be called Reverend Mudbone's Homegrown Hopshine.

Myers further reports that the brewpub will be a part of Fresh's new multi-concept development in Germantown, with Cochon Butcher.

Clearly, Fresh has a financial headstart to be able to make this purchase so quickly, but that doesn't stop other brewery start-ups from trying. Down in Nolensville, Chris Going has plans to open Mill Creek Brewing Co.

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Dinner Party at Whole Foods Market to Benefit Walden's Puddle

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 7:19 AM

Walden’s Puddle is a nonprofit organization in Joelton that supports native Tennessee wildlife by taking in sick, injured, and/or orphaned wildlife and treating their injuries and providing a home until the animals can be released back into the wild. Many of my West Nashville neighbors have turned to Walden’s Puddle when they’ve observed deer or foxes and other wild animals in the area that appear to be in distress. I’ve also used Walden’s Puddle to get rid of my unwanted black walnuts (though they consider it a donation).

Walden’s Puddle operates entirely on private funding, and more than 92 percent of money received is directly used for animal care. Therefore, the organization depends on fundraisers not only for collecting more donation dollars but for spreading the word about their organization.

Earlier this year, their facility caught fire and suffered significant damage and loss of animal life. So the organization is busy working with various partners to recover and rebuild. Their next event, a fundraising dinner party, is coming up Saturday, Oct. 11, at Whole Foods Market in Green Hills. Guests at the dinner party will enjoy a vegetarian meal made with fresh seasonal produce with wine pairings, and all proceeds from the event will be donated. Staff from Walden’s Puddle will be on-hand for a short presentation as well as introducing guests to some of the organization’s “animal amabassadors.”

If you are unable to make it to the Whole Foods Fund Raising Dinner Party, check their Facebook page for information on more events and other ways to help.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

The Picnic Tap Bringing Craft Beer to the Nashville Farmers' Market

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 1:25 PM

The Picnic Tap, a craft-beer pub, is coming to the Nashville Farmers' Market, with a grand opening scheduled for this Thursday, Oct. 2.

"The Picnic Tap is pioneering as the first Nashville Farmers' Market establishment to offer craft beer," the market says in a release today. The pub will feature a rotating selection of local and regional craft beers and growler fill-ups to go, along with a food menu centered on locally sourced charcuterie.

Located inside the Market House, The Picnic Tap will offer seating so shoppers can take a break and enjoy craft beer and a snack during visits to the market.

The Picnic Tap's owner-operator, Eric Woodard, held a preview at the most recent Night Market event last week.

"As a longtime home brewer and fan of craft beer, I've always loved places that showcase the beers of a particular city or region," Woodard says in the release. "I've thought about opening a place like The Picnic Tap for several years now — a very casual place where you can hang out, relax, and enjoy a local hand-crafted beer with friends."

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A Few Tickets Remain for Outstanding in the Field at Wedge Oak Farm

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 10:35 AM

I know tickets are pricey at $220, but I'm surprised that there are still a few seats at the table remaining for chef Josh Habiger's Outstanding in the Field Dinner this Thursday, Oct. 2, at Wedge Oak Farms in Lebanon. These events have sold out quickly in the past, and a chef of Habiger's talent and stature certainly deserves to cook for a full house. Or on this occasion, a full field. (We know Habiger, of course, as the chef at Pinewood Social and former chef and co-founder of The Catbird Seat.) Just in case you forgot, here are the details of the feast:

Outstanding in the Field events are known for their beautifully composed and elegantly presented farm-to-table meals. The meal is prepared by a re-knowned local chef and served to all the guests seated at one long table. The mission of the meal is to inspire both a conversation at the table and a broader discussion about food, community and the meaning of place. A traveling feast with a central vision of farmers, chefs, cheese makers, ranchers, foragers and winemakers in delicious communion with the people they sustain.

The day will start at 2 p.m. with a tour of the 96-acre farm, mingling over cocktails and then everyone will gather at the table to a feast for the ages!

Tickets are limited and currently available at outstandinginthefield.com/event/wedge-oak-farm/

If you're interested, act now!

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The Weekly Open Thread: The Dessert Edition

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 7:59 AM

Adeles banana pudding
In this week's Scene, Steve Cavendish raves about the desserts at Adele's. The Gulch space is fantastic, Cavendish writes, but apps and entrées were remarkably uneven. Yet he's full of praise for the final course:

Pastry chef Betsy Johnston's desserts provided the highlight of our meals and maybe the year. Her Southern coconut cake with lime sorbet ($8) was feather-light and avoided the cloying sweetness so many coconut dishes seem to fall into. And the peach crostata and vanilla ice cream ($8) was warm, flaky and rich.

But the high point was the banana pudding ($8), easily the best dessert we've had in 2014. Building from the bottom, it's a thin layer of caramel with bananas melted in, then a thick layer of a pudding that is more like a crème brûlée, and finally thin slices of banana that have been torched. Served with warm, toasted banana bread, it is a little bowl of heaven.

My questions for you:

Would great desserts alone be enough to get you to a restaurant that otherwise somewhat underwhelmed you?

What's your current favorite dessert at a Nashville restaurant?

Anybody got an opinion on Adele's?

What else ya got?

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Beer Expert Stephen Beaumont to Present Dinner Pairings at Flying Saucer

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Stephen Beaumont is world-renowned as an expert in all things hoppy, and his new book The Pocket Beer Guide 2015: The World’s Best Craft and Traditional Beers will be released in the next month.

In advance of that auspicious occasion, Beaumont is coming to Nashville for a special beer dinner at the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium on Sunday, Oct. 5, where he'll be signing books at the event beginning at 4 p.m.

The Flying Saucer will host a five-course dinner will feature six craft beers hand-selected by Beaumont, who will share his thoughts on style, origin and history of each brew.

Check out this menu:

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tickets Still Available for the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival This Saturday

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 10:44 AM

If you haven't yet gotten tickets to the Southern Artisan Cheese Festival this Saturday, you're in luck; tickets for the event at all levels are still available. That includes Friday night's Curds and Cocktails kickoff party Friday night.

Along with the many fine artisan cheeses, preserves, breads, gelato, and other accoutrements from across the South, Woodland Wine Merchant will pour a variety of refreshing wines, including Nino Franco "Rustico" Prosecco Superiore, Borgo M Pinot Grigio and Broadbent Rose Vinho Verde.

There will also be a fantastic selection of craft beers from Tennessee's Yazoo, Jackalope, Calfkiller and Fat Bottom, as well as Good People (from Alabama), Sweetwater (from Georgia), Duck Rabbit and Greenman (from North Carolina) and (personal favorite) Lazy Magnolia Brewery from Mississippi serving their Southern Pecan Nut Brown. There will also be a special appearance by Wander Aengus Ciderworks of Oregon, which crafts ciders from heirloom varieties of apples. Plenty of nonalcoholic beverages will be available as well.

There are also a few volunteer spots available, which will get you into the festival for free. Volunteer coordination is done through Hands On Nashville (for during the festival and clean-up afterward). However, if you'd like to help out pouring some of the great beers listed or with setup on Friday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m., you can contact festival organizer Kathleen Cotter directly by emailing kathleen [at] thebloomyrind.com. Kathleen takes good care of her volunteers, by the way.

Don't forget: While giving yourself the gift of cheese is reward enough, a portion of proceeds from the event benefit Community Food Advocates.

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